STRUGGLE IN THE PERSIAN GULF 279 'possession of the town, and it was agreed that they should attack from the land side. From the sea and from a land battery the English bombarded simultaneously the castle and the fleet, but the latter did not attempt to show fight. The largest Portuguese galleon, the San Pedro, was set on fire first, and then one by one the other ships were destroyed. The Persians, on their side, succeeded in blowing up part of the wall; but their assault, although delivered with much gallantry, was repulsed with loss. Nevertheless, the situation of the garrison was desperate, and as the result of negotiations the fort was surrendered to the English. Five years after this feat of arms Sir Thomas Herbert visited Hormuz and wrote of the fort: " And both within and without the Castle so regularly built and so well fortified with deep trenches, counterscarp, and great Ordnance commanding both City and Haven, that none exceeded it through all the Orient."1 Thus fell the famous castle of Hormuz, by means of which the Portuguese for more than a century had held at their mercy the trade between India and Europe by the Persian Gulf. Portugal was thrown back on Maskat, but from that base remained still so formidable that the English squadron was forced to keep with the Dutch for mutual protection; in 1624 the allied fleets fought an indecisive action against the Portuguese. In 1625 the squadron from Engknd was attacked by Botelho, the new Portuguese commander. The Lion was boarded, but the assailants were blown up, and the ship made for Bandar Abbas, then more generally called Gombroon.2 There Ruy Freire attacked and succeeded in burning the English ship. The crew fell into the hands of the enemy and were ruthlessly massacred, one man alone being spared. Gradually, however, the power of the Portuguese waned, an expedition which was fitted out in 1630 with a view to the recapture of Hormuz being a failure. Maskat 1 Seme Tears9 Travels^ etc^ p. 106 j his account of Hormuz and of the siege is well worth reading. 2 This ill-sounding word is a corruption of the Turkish Gumruk or Custom-house, itself a corruption of the Greek Kov/tepi, akin to the English word " commerce."